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Chris Garrick

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Biography of Chris Garrick

"Chris Garrick is the best young violinist in jazz today." The Observer, January 2002

Chris Garrick is widely recognised as the foremost jazz violinist in Britain, and one of the leading players on the world scene. "...he could easily emerge as one of the great jazz violinists of all time" - composer and musician John Dankworth CBE.

Chris Garrick is an improvising violinist and a composer with a growing international reputation. He was born in Guildford in 1971 and began violin aged five, but moved through piano and drums first before settling, at sixteen, on the violin fulltime. His father, the pianist and composer Michael Garrick, gave him a valuable early insight into jazz music whilst on the classical side he gained equal inspiration from the heroic recordings of the great Russian virtuoso Jascha Heifetz. But it was jazz that prevailed and by eleven he was performing with Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine, and jamming with Nigel Kennedy!

He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1989 to 1994 and became the first jazz violinist ever to be awarded their highest accolade - the DipRAM. Now based in the Pyrenees Orientales, close to Prades with its annual Festival de Pablo Casals, he charts a multi-musical life in jazz, pop & rock, gypsy, tango and film (having played on the soundtracks of films Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Chocolat and Big Fish among others).

He has worked and recorded with many different artists including Julian Joseph, Bireli Lagrene, Dolly Parton, All About Eve, Simon Mulligan, Angelo Debarre, Luka Bloom, Szapora, Caesari Cremonini and Brian Ferry. He has made tours of the Far East and Australia with guitarist John Etheridge in their critically acclaimed Tribute to Stephane Grappelli. In 2001 he toured Israel with Cleo Laine and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also leads his own quartet with David Gordon on piano, Tom Hooper (drums) and Ole Rasmussen (double bass).

In 2004 the CGQ teamed-up with Barry Wordsworth and the BBC Concert Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square for a special gala performance at London’s Genius of the Violin Festival. He collaborated with Barry again recently in Piazzolla’s Four Seasons and the Brighton Philharmonic at the Brighton Dome. In January 06 the International magazine for string players, The Strad, ran a cover feature and 6-page interview on Chris – the first time for any jazz violinist.

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